Tag Archives: Recovery

Back On (The) Track

I’m sore this morning, but not from stuff I spent the previous week recovering from.

Saturday I went track hunting, as Vegas doesn’t have particularly many open tracks to run on. High schools here keep their facilities locked and key. The most popular Vegas track from before, UNLV’s track, is closed until spring not just for maintenance and repairs but because, with the football team having new facilities, they don’t need to use it before next spring.

However, one other public track in the area is in Northtown at the Pearson Center, and when I went to visit Saturday morning the track was open and free to use, with a couple people running interval workouts. The track isn’t particularly old and the surface quality is decent. I walked on and after a brief track warmup worked for about 45 minutes on various jumping and running drills before leaving.

Obviously, my right hamstring feels better, as neither ham gave any sign of distress during any of the running, bounding and jumps I did.

I didn’t go super hard, as I had no water with me and the sun was out. Despite several rest periods I still burned more calories than I do on a typical 45 minute elliptical session, despite not running more than about half a mile and only being out there less than an hour.

After a week of no running, I’ll resume running and probably tinker with work break runs as desired. I want to focus more on the plyo and jump drills, but I probably need to do these every few days to allow recovery. Plus, I’m booked to run a 5K next weekend, so I’ll want to be somewhat fresh for that.

In the meantime, I should now have the space and energy to work on the easy intervals I haven’t really been able to consistently do. I have still been working the elliptical and spin bike at the gym (yes, I’ve gradually gotten back to the spin bike with good results), and as previously mentioned have been able to strength train almost every day with good results.

Even though I didn’t run much on the track yesterday I’d definitely like running intervals there. It’s a bit out of the way between home and work, so I don’t think I could go there every day there unless I wanted to shake up my routine so I could drive out there at 6-7am every morning… which I’m not in a hurry to do, and if just doing running and drills there’s a number of other places I can do that.

Still going to lay low with training through next week with that 5K next Saturday, but I’m looking to get back to normal running again.

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The Next Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

Since withdrawing from Indy, I’m now focused on more frequent strength training, which I plan to do almost daily (though today is a rest day).

I’ve spread out all my strength exercises over a repeatable 5 day sequence, to do more sets of each exercise while only focusing on 2-3 per 20 minute workout.

I’m back to doing Rapid Fire Sets for key machine exercises, spending about 6-10 minutes on key machine exercises while doing a basic 4 set progression for any dumbbell and bodyweight exercises. If this progresses well, I’ll do a future writeup on how it all works together.

Even though my hamstrings ache a bit when I do it, I’m riding the recumbent spin bike easy as well, focusing more on circulation and general aerobic fitness than trying to build or maintain anything. I’m doing this no more than every other day, just in case it’s possibly aggravating anything rather than just an idle ache.

I don’t feel any hamstring pain most of the time. The only time I feel any sort of ache, aside from when I use the spin bike, is when I’m sitting for long periods. That might be why it aches on the recumbent spin? I’d like to think so, but still I’ll be cautious.

If I feel better in the next week, I’ll test out a short run this weekend. If that goes fine, I’ll gradually ramp back up to regular running, probably focusing on easy intervals with longer runs or races on weekends as the opportunity arises. But I’ll probably restrict myself to running every other day for a good while afterward, just in case running back to back workouts was causing the issue.

Obviously I’m not work break running anymore for now. I’m sticking to walking on these breaks for the next while, which feels comfortable for now.

Mentally, I’m good. What happened was slowly unfolding over weeks, so it wasn’t exactly a huge surprise it came to that. Admittedly, I wasn’t even particularly excited about or looking forward to Indy like I had with past marathons. I could see I wasn’t ready, that training wasn’t progressing the way I wanted, and I didn’t feel confident. So moving on felt better than it would have otherwise.

The goal with everything right now is to get stronger overall while healing up. Hopefully in a couple months I’m feeling great. I’ll continue working on this until then.

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Checking In 10/14/2021… Ideas about future plans as well

Yesterday I went to Far Hills for some easy hill running, but my legs felt like lead pretty much out of the gate and never did improve beyond a difficult slow slog. Though the 2nd mile was a bit better, the uphill sections felt brutally tough and after a couple of circuits I looped back to the start at 2.6 miles and decided to call it there, heading to the gym and using the elliptical instead.

It looks like Tuesday’s 5.6 took more out of me than I had thought. I had eaten a big dinner Tuesday and I not only slept well but woke up yesterday feeling pretty good. But my legs simply were too tapped out to do much.

Tonight I’ll just stick to the gym, strength train, do a 10 minute warmup on the treadmill and then train on the elliptical. I’m still a bit sore and tired in the legs, and at this point I ought to focus on rest and recovery for this weekend’s long workout.


Regardless of how Indy goes next month, I’m sure that over the rest of my life I’ll want to do at least three more marathons:

  • I want to run Vancouver at least once more, whether it’s next year or some other year down the road.
  • I want to run Chicago at least once more. I’m fairly sure it won’t be next year but certainly some other year down the road. I probably will need to move on from Vegas before I can train through a summer for it.
  • I want to run the Luxembourg Night Marathon, which happens every May. A couple people I know have run it and it’s apparently quite fun running through the capital of a compact country at night. This wouldn’t happen before 2023, and I’d want to learn German and French on a high-functional level (I know a bit but not enough to be useful) before making the trip.

But in terms of stretch goals, bucket lists, however you put it, that’s honestly it. I don’t have any real interest in any others. I’m ambivalent about how much more energy I want to funnel into marathon training as a general practice. Maybe that will change in a while.

But a summer of training in Vegas has shown me that conventional marathon training in Vegas is probably too difficult for my circumstances. The injury thing might have been a blessing in disguise, as the seven derailed weeks prevented me from running all that much. The trips out of state to run in cooler climates helped for sure, as did the little work break runs in high heat. But even if I were 100% any other needed quality training (tempo runs, speedwork) was simply too much to ask in the Vegas heat, or through the pounding of using a treadmill.

Some of the issue was my weight having gotten to 175-180 lbs (the 80kg range), and that my prior training worked while I was at 160-170 lbs. The extra pounding probably created problems that wouldn’t have happened at 165 lb. Getting away from high volume endurance training for a bit can allow me to eat a lighter diet and slim down a bit more.

Even now, my natural eating patterns are more conducive to 2000-2500 calories per day, great for fat loss and intermittent fasting, but bad for meeting the calorie needs of marathon training. I’ve had to do a bunch of extra eating to cover the calorie and recovery needs of endurance training.

As of now, I want to focus on other training following Indy, and am not in a hurry to get back to long slower endurance workouts for marathons.

After recovering from Indy I plan to restrict my marathon training to a long run every couple weeks or so, just to maintain the endurance fitness built for Indy. Then, if/when I plan to run a marathon, it’s not a huge, long project to get trained for it.

Any other training would be sport-specific training. Any other running would be easy intervals for overall fitness, tailored when applicable to any other distances I’m planning to race. And I wouldn’t need to do them or endurance train every day. I could wake up, feel sore, and just decide to rest that day, almost any day.

23 days to Indy. This weekend remains a key workout, so the next couple days will be easier to ensure I’m loaded up for that long run.

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Checking In 10/11/2021

I pretty much took the weekend off, after all.

On Saturday, I had to take my car in for service and some other errands. By the time I returned home I was actually fairly exhausted, a good deal more than usual. I also still had the same lingering hamstring soreness from earlier that week. I decided not to train and just took it easy. In fact, I turned in rather early, with the sunset. And that was around 6:45pm.

Yesterday, Sunday, I rode long on the spin bike, about 105 minutes, but otherwise nothing else. Again, I took it easy, outside of going to the store and doing laundry.

Today I feel like a weird ball of energy… maybe this is what it feels like to have energy and not be tired? I do get so used to being tired and exhausted from training and life that perhaps I mistake having energy for being jittery? I haven’t had coffee yet. I slept reasonably well last night, and though I didn’t sleep much Friday night I definitely slept well Saturday night.

In any case, I also don’t have hamstring soreness this morning. Two days off allowed that to dissipate. I will slowly ramp today back into training, as we’re now into peak week… maybe peak fortnight, depending on how much I can handle next week as well. That will be the last week of intense training, as I’ll then have two weeks to Indy and will begin to taper.

I didn’t watch Sunday’s Chicago Marathon, and of course I’ll be working today so I won’t be watching Boston. Is it exciting, or do I have any feelings of missing out? Not really. It’s great to see people chasing their victory laps. But I’ve had mine, and hopefully will complete one of my own next month.

I don’t get the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out) much at all these days. I feel comfortable mentally about where I’m at, even if I’m not yet where I want to be. I can continue working where I’m at on where I want to go, without seeing someone else’s victory lap and feeling bad, antsy, FOMO, etc. Good for them, and I still feel good about where I am.

I ran Chicago three years ago (the dreaded Hiccups Marathon), and do want to run it again someday (even if I find the massive Chicago crowds annoying). I like the course and experience, and much like Vancouver 2019 I want the next time around to go right and be able to run that marathon out on my terms. It’ll also be good to see some of my old Chicago people once again. It may not be next year, but at some point I’ll run it again.

Boston? Maybe in the (admittedly unlikely) event I qualify, sure. But otherwise, I’m not interested. It’s a pedestal marathon for many, but I don’t think nearly as much of it as others.

As for more accessible marathons… Vancouver 2022 remains a possibility. I had actually considered not running another marathon for at least a year or two, and focus on training for other distances.

But after all the problems I’ve had with the Indy training cycle, I want to take a month or two off from hard training and then it’d be nice to take advantage of the Vegas winter conditions (actually ideal for marathon training) and get it right this time. Vancouver, presuming they hold the race (I think we’ll be out of the Coronawoods by then and they’ll do it), would be an ideal end goal.

That’s not to say I couldn’t still focus on those other events, and maybe just restrict my Vancouver training to a long run every week or two, and a longer tempo/pace run every week or two. Any other training would still benefit my marathon fitness, should I decide to run it next May. As long as I did a marathon-specific run every week, I could still maintain and improve that long fitness to some degree.

That’s to be figured out down the road, though. For now I still need to get ready for Indy, and this week of wall to wall training is all about that.

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Checking In 9/27/2021 after a 0.8 Mile Weekend

I took what was basically a complete rest weekend, and though it ultimately was a good idea it happened somewhat by accident.

Saturday I meant to be a full rest day, and while I did sneak to the gym and ride the spin bike for an hour while reading I did take it easy.

However, Sunday I had intended a full workout day, quality time on the treadmill and then some extra cross training. It was possibly a dubious idea because I planned to train hard Monday (today) and Tuesday, plus I felt like I needed more rest going in.

In a stroke of reverse-luck, I got to the gym around noon and realized I wasn’t wearing my Garmin watch! I had taken it off to charge and forgotten to put it back on. That rarely ever happens… in fact, I don’t think that’s happened before in Vegas.

I did go a couple minutes on the treadmill, tested some faster running which felt fine, then improvised a light strength workout that incorporated some exercises and weights I knew were hard to track on Garmin. I considered this sort-of-session a chance to work easy on some stuff I wouldn’t have generally done, plus I didn’t worry at all about the length of breaks (which I usually do when the clock’s ticking on a 20 minute workout). The light and easy workout left me feeling a bit energized, and I went home after that and relaxed for the day.

I realized in hindsight that I probably needed an easy weekend like that, after weeks and weeks of long workouts, traveling, and cramming that kind of effort into what should be a period of rest. I do feel a bit lax this morning, but in the taper sense of having had a bout of inactivity more than that I’m too tired.

Incidentally I set myself up well for some tougher workouts this week, today and tomorrow and then Thursday. Had I gone hard today, I would have had to be careful with intensity today, maybe tomorrow as well.

Now I’m thinking of finally venturing outside after work and going for some easy intervals at the park. It’ll still be hot, but not like during the summer, and worst case scenario I just need to slow down and run easy in the heat. But going 7 miles today between work break runs and easy intervals after work sounds like a good idea.

I also ate a bunch of ice cream this weekend for the first time in a long while, so maybe I should burn that off.

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Checking In 9/24/2021

After quite a bit of productive running and cross training through Wednesday, I made sure not to run Thursday and won’t run today either.

No, I’m fine. No pain, no injuries, and sure I’m a bit tired from short sleep. The real issue is that Vegas is getting more wildfire smoke, this time from the Sequoias, and the haze is supposed to stick around through today. It’s probably best not to go outside and breathe that in while running. Walking, probably okay, but not running.

I took it easy in the gym last night because of the short sleep, only going about 20 minutes and going out to eat instead. Today I’ll probably go longer in the gym, more like my usual workload, with a scheduled rest day tomorrow. Since I plan to run a 10K trial on Sunday, I’m making a point to take it easy Saturday. I might go ride the spin bike easy tomorrow afternoon if I’m bored or antsy.


My birthday is next month on a Saturday, and coincides perfectly with the end of peak training for Indy. I weighed this for a little while and have decided to take a long weekend trip to Vancouver on that weekend. Everything is booked, flight, hotel. I’d fly in midday that Friday, have two full days there, and fly out midday that Monday.

Stanley Park in Vancouver BC

Canada has re-opened to US visitors that are vaccinated for Covid (and yes: I’m vaccinated). I haven’t been to Vancouver, one of my favorite cities in the world, in over two years. And I didn’t want to wait until next May for a Vancouver Marathon that we’re still not totally sure is going to happen, nor until 2023.

This is a good time to go as well. The city won’t be crazy busy since summer is over. With Canada still partially restricted to visitors, it’s not going to be as busy and crowded. It’s also cool but not yet cold enough for BC snow, so misty rain is probably the only adverse weather I might see that weekend.

Also, relevant to my training, Vancouver’s marine climate provides a lot of humidity, which makes a long run there great training stimulus for Indy since Indy will likely be cool and humid on race day.

I’ve wanted to do a long run on the Vancouver Seawall, around Stanley Park and all the way around False Creek to Granville Island. One way it’s about 11-12 miles, and if inclined I could turn around and double back to make it longer. I’ve ridden this route on a rental bike before, but I want to run it.

Since I’ve only gone to run the Vancouver Marathon, doing a long Seawall run like this for fun right before or after the marathon was highly impractical. The only way I was ever going to do it (aside from the highly unlikely scenario of moving there) is if I made a separate trip with no racing plans. While that’s not the reason I’m making this trip, it’s certainly a contributing factor. And it helps it’s the end of my peak week, where I need to take my longest run and have a use for it.

Now, there are obvious caveats to this trip. You have to pass Covid testing within 72 hours of any travel into or out of Canada regardless of vax status (though with vax no quarantine is required). If either test comes back positive then there’s a problem. And of course, a sudden development in the Corona situation for either the US or Canada prior to the trip could nix any travel there.

I’ve paid for and insured the trip, so I’m not worried about the cost. If a bad test before the trip derails it, I just stay home and do something different. The only significant worry is if I test [+] IN Canada, and now I’m stuck in Canada and can’t fly back. (The insurance apparently covers lodging and per diem if I have to stay in Canada for that, though my situation at work would be the biggest issue)

Still, I’m in good health, have been vaccinated, and the dim possibility of a [+] test trapping me in Canada for at least a couple weeks (which probably would likely be more of a funny story than a bad experience) is a risk I’m willing to take for a trip that’s probably been a long time coming.

There are other things I want to do while I’m there. Vancouver’s sushi choices are excellent, and I will probably eat a lot of sushi. I haven’t been to a BC Lions CFL game in forever, and they are playing that weekend so I may go. And as mentioned, it’s been a while since I’ve been there for a reason other than running the Marathon, so it’ll be great to relax without having to plan around that.

More to come as it gets closer, but I’m looking forward to the trip.

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Checking In 9/21/2021

Yesterday I went on runs on all my work breaks. They were more like easy jogs, sure. But even with residual soreness from Saturday they all felt fine… other than feeling heavy and slow all the way on all three of them. But I’ll gladly take that over injuries slowing me down. I also rode the spin bike easy last night at the gym without any trouble.

Today like yesterday is a soft day off, probably more so than yesterday’s. I’ll do work break runs if they feel right, but this time no workout tonight. I have errands to attend to tonight and hopefully things will settle down tomorrow and beyond for at least a few days.

I think I need to take one more weekend long run trip, not next week but in early October. Vegas will cool down but only to the mid/high 60’s Fahrenheit, with highs still in the low/mid 90’s. While I’d like to make one more trip to Flagstaff, it might be ideal to go back to Big Bear as the latter is a better location for my longer runs (Flag might require creative routing or some remote routes, the latter not ideal if the long run goes south and I need to stop).

After that, Vegas should cool off enough that any other needed long running can take place here. And the feasibility of Indy will be a lot clearer by then as well. At this point I’m not concerned about injury but whether or not I can capable train to handle the distance before November. Saturday’s 13+ miler was a big step, but I have to get to at least 16 without being wrecked for me to believe I can handle Indy in November.

Still cooking up plans for beyond November, and more on that once I get past Indy. For now, I obviously need to focus on the present goal.

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